Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Tue 29.6.10, Afternoon
14.30 till 17.15 PM
General remarks: a hot day with 35 degree Celsius
arrival at 15.10 PM, on the parking lot one car, in the waiting hall 3 young men. One of them was very well dressed. He was going to apply for a permit for work in Jerusalem. The two others are with him for support. One was a teacher who liked to speak English with me.
The cabin behind the turnstile was empty. On the poster besides is given the telefone
number of somebody superior. The young man was calling this number once, me twice.
Either somebody was telling us that soon somebody will come or there was no answer. We tried another number. There was somebody answering that they have not enough staff "because of the fastening'. Eventually at 15.50 PM somebody was arriving and opened the turnstile. The young man got his permit.
At 15.50 PM two men from Bethlehem were sent home because Tuesday is not the day of people from Bethlehem. This is nowhere written.
At 16.05 PM a beautiful young girl was coming asking for a permit for her sick mother and company in order to go to the Mukassah hospital on the mount of Olives. Because of this she had already been at the DCO once, was ordered to visit Matak a second time. She was left in immediatly.
Bethlehem (300) Arrival at the checkpoint (Jerusalem side) at 16.55 P.M:
The hall with the counters is almost empty. Only two counters are open.
We were just ready to leave when about 150 people, most men and workers and employees, but also a lot of women and tourists were streaming in. Two more counters got opened.
There were some Israeli tour guides waiting for their tourist groups , who had to visiit Bethlehem without guides, because Israel guides are not allowed to accompany them in Zone A. All of the guides were complaining that the army and other Israeli officials are not very helpful in tourism. So the guides were note informed that all of a sudden tourists were no longer allowed being driven through the checkpoint in busses, but had to walk and very often to wait a long time. In particular tourists coming from Bethlehem had to wait in line for a long time. All of them were complaining that there were no toilets on the way.